Ask yourself this checklist of questions
Buying a home is a huge decision. It’s usually the biggest investment most people make in their lives. And there are so many things to consider. As you’re considering your options, I put together a list checklist of questions to ask yourself before buying a home.
What is the current real estate market like?
If you live in Colorado, then you’re probably aware that it’s a seller’s market. What does that mean? It means that house appreciation is one of the best in the nation and that if you find a place that you like, you need to act fast because the average house is only on the market about 30 days! If you’re a homeowner here and need to sell your home before you can buy a new one, then you need to speak to your realtor about what perks you can put into your offer that will offset the contingency of selling your home.
Will my homeowner’s insurance increase? If so, by how much?
If you currently rent and are looking to buy, there will obviously be a difference between renter’s insurance and Homeowner’s insurance. But if you’re currently a homeowner, of say, a condo, and you’re looking to buy a single-family home, there’s likely going to be an increase in your homeowner’s insurance. It’s best to know what the difference will be ahead of time, or at least get an estimate, so you can calculate that into your new budget.
How much will utilities cost?
Again, these are things that are likely to change if you’re going from renting to buying or if you’re increasing your home type. Things such as water and garbage might currently be included in your rent or home owner’s association, but will be your responsibility with the new home.
Will my commute be better or worse?
You definitely want to take a look at your new route to work to get a sense for how your commute will be affected. Additionally, if your commute is longer, you’ll want to factor in the additional cost of gas. This may not be a huge deal, but everything will add up.
Does the school system meet our requirements?
If you have children then you definitely want to check into the local public schools or what private school options you have. Don’t have kids yet? This is still something you should take a look at as it will affect the resale opportunity.
What maintenance will my home require (in the next 5 years)?
This is a big one. Yes, it’s typical to have an inspection prior to buying a home and you’ll be aware of anything the inspector points out. But what about the stuff the inspector can’t see? There are all sorts of things that happen with a house that you should be prepared for. If you’re buying in a mature neighborhood with big trees on the lot, consider how old the house is and ask if the sewer line has been replaced, and if so, how long ago. Other big ticket items are windows, roofs, water heaters, and air conditioners.
I hope now you feel better prepared for buying a new home! I’d love to answer any questions you may have and partner with you on this exciting process!